Faculty Publication: Assistant Professor Kerry Lee

December 11, 2021
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Social Research Kerry A. Lee

Validation of the Substance Abuse Scale of the Personal and Relationships Profile

AuthorsKerry Lee, R. Anna Hayward, and Paul Sacco
Within: Social Work Research (November 2021)
Publisher: National Association of Social Workers


There have been limited measurement studies of the substance abuse scale of the Personal and Relationships Profile (PRP) and the impact of social desirability on alcohol and drug use reporting. This study aimed to (a) model the factor structure of the eight-item substance abuse scale of the PRP and (b) examine the relationship of substance use factors with sociodemographic variables—race, income, age, marital status—and social desirability on substance use reporting among a sample of low-income fathers. The study included secondary data analysis of 665 fathers, who participated in a fatherhood program between 2011 and 2015. The two-factor model with the addition of two error covariances exhibited acceptable fit to the data. Sociodemographic characteristics were significantly associated with alcohol and drug use among the sample with social desirability being the strongest predictor of lower alcohol and drug use reporting. Findings suggest that alcohol and drugs are distinct constructs that should be assessed separately, despite being correlated. In social work practice and research, the influence of social desirability in reporting should be accounted for when assessing substance use.